Sunday, December 11, 2011

Goi Cuon (Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls), in a vegetarian-twist


When I dine in Lemon Grass in Ayala Terraces, my meal will never be complete without the Vietnamese Spring Roll – I love the light, the crisp-cold fresh vegetables that is from time to time accented by unfamiliar herb taste but complemented with a sweet-spicy peanut dipping sauce. I am used to eating fresh lumpia (or lumpiang sariwa), our version of the dish with ‘ubod ng niyog’ rolled in soft egg-flour wrap with a sweet peanut sauce, so eating this ‘lumpia’ version of Vietnam is something I can relate into.



Indeed we are all Asians – If Chinese has lumpia (Hokkien term is ‘Lunpia’ for spring rolls) which we Pinoys had adopted and made our popular versions of either fried or fresh, Vietnamese have their own version too. Vietnamese cuisine is known throughout the world as one having the healthiest cuisines since most of their dishes call for fresh vegetables and herbs –and they eat it raw, either as a side dish, toppings or mixed in soups. That is also the reason of that ‘unfamiliar taste’ in the spring roll – the herbs which we Pinoys are not used to.

If you opt for something healthy, then include Goi Cuon in your order list if you happen to dine in any of the Asian restos in the city. But you can prepare this easily at home since most of the ingredients are readily available. The recipe that I will be sharing was only tried once, before this blog was born months ago. Good thing I was able to take photos in each of the steps. For this recipe, I’m tweaking this to a much healthier version by using tuna instead of pork or shrimp. For quite sometime, I have been very particular on what I eat, that is why I prepare my own food rather than going out and eat somewhere else.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Thai-Asian Cuisine de Cebu | A hole-in-the-wall Thai Resto

My fascination with Thai cuisine started in one eventful night of ‘Loi Krathong’, a Thai festival of lights I have attended almost a year ago, not in Thailand but in our very own compound where almost half of the residents, my beloved neighbors, are Thais. I have seen how they prepared their dishes –it could never be authentic without the generous amount of aromatic herbs, spices and an odd mixture (for me) of greens and meat, of sweet and salty. Everything is totally different and the taste is amazingly unique and unfamiliar, but there are two things my discriminating taste buds can relate into: the use of fresh herbs (of which I am into) and my love for something that is devilishly spicy.

And since then I frequent Lemon Grass and Krua Thai and Blue Elephant and Sai Gon Quan to burn off my cravings for Thai (and Viet) dishes, while at the same time burning my pocket. However early this year, I found a gem amid the busy street in Banilad – a small unassuming resto, three ranks decent than any carinderia and has offerings that is almost at par with Lemon or Krua. And since then, I fell in love with Thai-Asian Cuisine de Cebu. Each of their dishes has been my comfort food, and the nearest sense of connection I got with home cooking.






7 Reasons to Love Thai-Asian Cuisine de Cebu

1.    Personally, I must say it has a bad restaurant name and was not carefully thought-of. Nevertheless, the food they offer more than compensates for its name. They say its authentic Thai and I can vouch for that—the first chef was a Thai (and later trained a Filipino partner), and the ingredients are fresh from Thailand (and they even grow their own herbs!). But I must say it is Pinoy-fusion, the taste and flavors delight the Pinoy palate. Try their Phad Thai and the famous Tom Yum Soup and you will be transported to the homes and streets of Thailand!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Vegetarian Smorgasboard…yes, we have it in Cebu!


Partly to be blamed for my bloated body shape right now aside from admittedly having an appetite for almost anything edible, are the thriving eat-all-you can restaurants in the city that offers extensive variety of mouthwatering dishes. Not even a fairly-priced buffet in the city would hinder me from trying and getting a “fullfilling” experience. I would never forget the over-indulgence I did in Café Marco (Marco Polo) – I started when the restaurant opened at 6:00pm and ended when the restaurant closed at 10:00pm. Don’t try to imagine how big my stomach expanded for it was a sad sight to behold. Fast forward today, I carefully choose what I eat as I was alarmed on the result of my recent annual medical examination. I instantly decided on that day that I will no longer eat anything that is high in cholesterol. No more red meats. No more eat-all-you can.

One day, I was invited by a friend Cinmayii (a sanskrit name) who happen to be a Margi (members of Ananda Marga) to try their vegetarian buffet. They have been doing this once a month for several months already but it was my first time to know such. Food is exclusively prepared and cooked by a vegetarian chef. They (Margis) are vegetarians who avoid some food ingredients in cooking like garlic, onions, mushrooms and eggs to mention a few. With this, I assume their food would taste much different from any restaurants in Cebu that offer vegetarian options. I was imagining how a dish would taste like without garlic and onions or what could instead be used as an alternative. I am more than interested on what it is like to indulge on everything vegetarian!

We arrived in their gathering place just in time the Margists finished their meditation. We were greeted by Dada, a respected high priest dressed in orange robe. I felt a little strange when we were accomodated inside the room – the way they dressed, the way they greeted us, the arrangement of the room, as if we were transported in a Hindu setting – pillows are everywhere, and all of us sat “yoga style” on the floor. It was my first time to mingle on that kind of crowd, but later I felt comfortable knowing that we went there just for the food. And then there was a table with calderos and big serving platters full of different dishes! That sight reminded me of a town fiesta, where food is being served right on its own caldero, very Pinoy yet in a Hindu-like atmosphere! Another one-of-a-kind experience.




Before I lined up to help myself, I asked some members who were helping in the table about what were those dishes and how it was prepared. It seemed however that nobody knew exactly what were those dishes. They pointed me to Hitendra (a Sanskrit name), the vegetarian chef but he was too busy assisting other guests. Without nobody to answer me, I sat down on the floor and just enjoyed every dish. Yes I tried all that were served! Among all the dishes that lined up in the table, I found the vegemeat barbecues awesome... it tasted like real meat!


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Visayas Blogging Summit 2011: Cooking up OPPORTUNITY for starters


This five-month old blog is a newbie in blogosphere. Conceived with lofty ideals, added with a little know-how on the techie side plus a ton of passion, this blog came into existence. Just like anybody else, I share the same difficulties of painfully starting from a scratch. Most of the time I’m lost and don’t know where to run for tech advise and support. Good thing I came across the Visayas Blogging Summit 2011 while I searched for something that can be of help.

 
I am glad there is such thing as a convergence of all like-minded individuals in the world of blogging. Indeed this is more than a good news for me. With just a week more to go, I am as eager as I can get to be with the crowd, and excited to learn as many as I can on that day from the world-class speakers and experienced bloggers. I have lots of things running on my mind and need to get answers from this summit. I am enthusiastic on engaging with fellow bloggers: the best advice woould be coming from their time-tested learning experiences. I am hoping this would be an open venue for sharing great tips and ideas.

This huge event is all an OPORTUNITY. To those who have been ahead of me, it’s a time to expand networks and build new relationships. It is also an opportunity to look and consider innovation and change. And for us new comers (not late bloomers), this is an occasion for learning and growth. The topic on social media etiquette is apt and timely for us starters; we need to be guided with the basic standards of social responsibility and ethics. And I know there will be a lot installed for us…there’s more to learn in blogging!

In this summit, there is room for everyone. Let's fire up this blogging revolution and help change the Visayas landscape. Newcomers and starters, it’s never too late to make your presence heard and felt in the blogosphere!

Don’t forget to hit this link to register. Tug along a friend, a neighbor, an officemate or classmate and let’s make this summit an occasion for learning and advancement. See you on the 26th of November at SM City Cebu Trade Hall 1. Be early to avail of freebies! Registration starts at 7:00am.

This event, the biggest gathering for social media in our country is made possible by our very own Cebu Bloggers Society (hmmmm….seems interesting to be one of them!). My salute to them, they just don’t know how they made me smile with hope in this technically mind-boggling blogging world. Get full details of the Visayas Blogging Summit 2011 in this link.

Its never too late to start blogging. This summit will always remind us that we just need to get started!

See you!





Links to organizers and all sponsors:

Main Organizer: Cebu Bloggers Society




Silver Sponsors: Coffee Dream, Bo's Coffee, Crimson Resort and Spa, Harolds Hotel, Hero Sausages and Honeycomb Finance Consultancy

Bronze Sponsors: Globe, Nokia and Pinoy Great Deals

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pinoy Masterchef: The story of penne, aligue, and the live crabs

I know most of you would love to ask me what’s that dish that coveted the spot in the audition and why that dish?

I still can remember up to now the details of how I was in control of the interview. I greeted the five panelists, stated my name, my age, where I came from, where I am staying and what I am doing right now. I emphasized my being a civil engineer and worked in Cebu's top real estate company to give them a hint I don't have any culinary background. And then I introduced my piece:

“I prepared today a tomato-based pasta named ‘penne in rich aligue sauce with grilled tomatoes and bell peppers.’ What’s so unique with this dish is, I used only the freshest tomatoes and I do away from using the commercial pastes and sauces, plus I used the ‘real’ parmigiano reggiano cheese since I would like to create a real italian dish with a pinoy twist. The pinoy twist in the dish is the aligue. I had a hard time looking for this ingredient here in Cebu knowing that this is not a staple in this region. The crabs I used were alive and I cooked them just this morning for this dish. Youtube played an important role in how I properly executed the preparation of the live crabs. I also added grilled tomatoes because I am a tomato lover, it added texture to the dish. The grilled green peppers also added a new dimension in the aroma of the dish."


“Why this dish? It reminded me of two things: my childhood and my home in Gensan. Back in Gensan, we have lots of supply of fresh cheap crabs. Whenever we have crabs in the table, it is always a family feast. We all love crabs. The aligue paste reminded me of my childhood. Since my father is Kapampangan, the ‘taba ng talangka’ has always been a staple condiment in our table. It spruces up anything that is bland and dry. I missed my family in Gensan and it has been a while since the last time I went home. Preparing this dish makes me feel at home”

“Where did I learn how to cook? Well, I must say I am blessed that I came from a family with two different cultures. My father is Kapampangan, and all of us are required to cook. My mother hails from Iloilo, and they have different way in preparing dishes. We were taught young on how to cook”

I guess it was me who did not give an opportunity for the interviewers to ask questions. After having said those lines, they just tasted my dish, bade them goodbye and went outside. 

My winning recipe was first featured in the blog of my friend, Tiny Kusina.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pinoy Masterchef #1457: My audition story


Officially I'm breaking-in the news: that I got a spot in the Cebu leg of Pinoy Masterchef auditions. Yes, I am one of the hopefuls who tried my luck, queued and waited for my turn to be in the audition spotlight, braved all the cameras and without fear faced the audition judges! I can't just imagine myself doing this, yes I know what's running on your mind right now, you have so many questions to ask me, but to be honest with all of you, I don’t even know why I was there. I know all of you are ecstatic to know this news, but there’s nothing yet to celebrate about since this is just the Cebu leg of the audition (that was also the last of all scheduled auditions). I passed the two levels of audition and for now, I am waiting for that magical moment when ABS CBN will surprise me with the news that I will be included in the top 60 who will qualify to the reality show. I'm just crossing my fingers. Your prayers will help a lot!

So how it all begun? I really have no idea why I got into that picture. I love to cook and I have the heart for cooking but why would I go to that extent of joining reality TV shows. Until now I don’t have a clear answer. All I know is I want to cook. Long before ABS CBN bought the Masterchef franchise, I am already a big fan of cooking shows and of Masterchef to be specific. When the kiddie edition started, I just told myself I hope I can join the competition. Honestly speaking, I did a search for the audition schedule online however during the early days of the show, the Cebu leg has no date yet. But the intention was not serious, so the interest died down. I could not even think of a better dish to prepare.



I woke up one early Friday morning and turned my TV on. While doing some weight exercise in front of the TV, a one liner news flashed at the bottom of the TV screen: Masterchef Cebu audition on September 27, 2011, Tuesday 8:00 in the morning at Pacific Mall Mandaue. I couldn’t understand the excitement I felt that moment; I just told myself, why not give it a try, nothing will be lost on me. Including that day, I only have four days to prepare.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

BTC’s Streetfood Gourmet: Elevating ‘streetfoods’ to a higher level


Gourmet - /goor-mey/: epicurean, gastronmist, foodie, lover of foods (noun) or loving food or finer things (adjective).

I happen to pass by Banilad Town Center (BTC) one Saturday afternoon while on my way home and a one streamer grabbed my attention; it says “Gourmet Street Food. Saturdays 10:00pm to 2:00am”. I patiently waited for that late night to come and know what it was all about.
Gourmet Street Food is at the outside lobby of Banilad Town Center

I presupposed it was just a late night market of our all-time favorites cooked openly along the streets: charcoal-grilled pork or chicken barbeques, as well as other edible pork or chicken parts skewered on bamboo sticks. I was also thinking of tempura, the deep-fried orange-flour coated eggs, squidballs, and all the balls you can imagine. Or was it just another version of BGC’s Midnight Mercato that offers the same streetfoods but in a much cleaner and presentable way?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Mercato Centrale and Midnight Mercato in Bonifacio Global City, what is Cebu’s version?


Community market or farmer’s market (or correctly termed community supported agriculture) are gaining popularity nowadays. Consumers now are well-informed than before, and if given an option, they would rather choose or buy foods directly from farmers - all that are local, seasonal and organically grown. Consumers now are more “responsible” on what they eat and how their decision or choices would affect the food chain. If you are keen observing what’s happening in our society, we are in a phase of time that is “going back to basics.”

Locally, we have the likes of Mercato Centrale in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig or Salcedo Community Market  or Legaspi Sunday Market both in Makati that are closest to the definition of a community market. Zooming-in here in Cebu, I wonder if we have  those versions.

 The blogger posing at the welcome streamer.

Last August this year, I had a chance to visit Mercato Centrale, in both its Sunday Organic Market and the late night food market (Midnight Mercato). This community market that opens

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Herbs-in-a-cup, a trend?

Before, if you need fresh herbs for cooking, you will run to the fresh section of supermarkets here in Cebu. Basil, coriander, wansuy, leeks, are the most common and it comes handy in small packs. Sad to say, not all the time these supermarkets have steady supply. Seldom you can find those in public markets (yes I tried most of the time to look for those fresh herbs whenever I have a chance to raid the public market), except in Carbon Public Market. Praise be to batman, now you can even buy one, grow it and use it along the way. Yes, grow it!

Naturally grown herbs for sale at Robinsons Supermarket in Banilad Town Center

I can say it is a recent trend. Before, I really had hard time looking for these plants, and it was only SM supermarket that is selling herbs planted in a cup. But now, I even noticed Robinson Supermarket in Banilad Town Center, Super Metro Supermarket in Ayala and the two SM Hypermarkets (in NRA and in J Centre in Mandaue). This time, I can even have sage, and rosemary ready for cooking!

Monday, October 24, 2011

I am busy. Pause. And Go.

I was dead for almost three months. I loathe using the term “busy” but I’ll borrow this term for definition’s sake to describe the three-month long race against time: I took my Master’s comprehensive exams end of July and of course the long preparation I did before that; August was blast in my work after three years of slow-pacing in the office including trips in and out of Cebu; September and October were strat planning and budget seasons I need to attend to. Not to mention the lull moments in between those months, where I found myself sleeping and de-stressing. Plus my dear Delia passed away shortly after the end of my Master’s hence preventing me to be online most of the time. I already predicted her fate, and so with it I accepted that my life would be so silent from then on. Blogging was eventually paused for a moment.
Nonetheless, the three months of blogging inactivity was never dead at all – I was able to visit Mercato central in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig last August and was intrigued for related version stores here in Cebu; had visited for the first time the Pasil wet market, the seafoods “bagsakan” of Cebu, in my search for live crabs for a ‘special’ dish I need to prepare; my potted garden was left unattended and my herbs were dying; a birthday gift to me were herbs; my attempt to audition in the up and coming reality TV show and the day-to-day preparation of an aspiring cook. My mind is so full of good stories, and I need to share these to you.
Coming in the few days (or weeks) is my new companion in blogging. I’m eager for my new MacBook Air (who could give me a better name?). With what’s going on in life, I’m excited and enthused to be back in shape for blogging. This time, I’ll cook!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Sage and Purple Basil


       My trip to Talisay City last Sunday afternoon had made me going home bringing three additional herbs for my garden: sage and two varieties of basil: the dwarf and purple basil. These plants were from an istoryan (member of istory.net) friend whom I met up with, a trade between my two varieties of basil, the holy basil and lemon basil. That Sunday afternoon was my first time to touch and smell a bunch of crushed sage leaves.


  This is the sage plant, grown from seeds. The powdery ash-green leaves are elongated and has a coarse texture. It has strong astringent flavor and a savoury aroma with hints of peppermint. I have yet to know how can I use this in my cooking.


 This is the purple basil, a variety of basil. The taste and smell are just the same with ordinary basil, but, as other articles point out it has weaker aroma than the sweet basil. it is basically grown for its color. You can replace your ordinary basil with this one, and it is great for any tomato-based dishes (pastas!), Italian dishes or fresh garden salads. Its unique color makes it a good ornamental plant.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Hydroponics...and lots of Basil in Talisay!

       What if you don't have a backyard space to start your herb garden? Or maybe you are living in a condo where space is so limited that you can not even grow your favorite ornamental plant. For a space-challenged starters,  fortunately, you can grow those in pots. But what if you can not find any good soil to even start your potted gardens? You can buy organic soil materials at the hardware stores! Sounds simple but this is not the usual case.

        Serious about gardening? Let's take gardening on a next level! 

     My curiosity on gardening has brought me to Talisay City to meet up (I mean eyeball) a certain girl whom I met online via Istorya.net. I was just a newbie on that site and I found the threads under hobbies amusing. It is quite assuring that there are other people like you who are hooked on the same thing. This girl was Ulyssa. We exchanged a few words about herbs until it brought me looking for her house somewhere in Talisay last Sunday afternoon. The thought of meeting up a person who share the same interest like you was exhilarating.


       The moment I entered her house, I saw PVC pipes lining up in uniformity with lots of Basil growing in it. She mentioned to me before that she was into HYDROPONICS. I have heard it before but that Sunday afternoon on her house was my first actual sight of hydroponics. Little lettuces and basils growing on plastic cups submerged on a nutrient-rich solution is such a lovely sight.

        Wikipidea defines it as a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions in water, without soil. Yes, you can grow your plants even without soil!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cebu's Organic Farms (2)

        If San Giminiano Farms would make you think twice to buy, the other unassuming booth beside it offers a much more value for money. If you are a start up hobbyist, you can buy some at this booth for a reasonable price of P100.00-P150.00. The point here is, its already grown and its up to you on how you will grow it bigger. The plants are worth a try. 

The namei is Quisumbing Farms, owned by Mr. Anton Quisumbing. Their farm is located in Kantipla, somewhere in Busay. You may reach the owner at the following numbers: 09275446349 or 09396244624.

Below are some of their plants for sale:
  

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Cebu's Organic Farms (1)


I was able to know two of the participating booths at the weekend organics bazaar in Banilad Town Center. One of this is San Gimignano Wellness Farm's Harvest in Balamban, Cebu being owned by Ms. Eleanor A. Rivera

I was amazed by the extent of its offerings, especially on fully grown culinary herbs, fresh vegetables, ready-to-eat foods and chilled products. It sells anything organic that you can feast on: lettuce, arugula, bokchoy, choisum, tomato, sikwa, likway, cucumber, sayote, camote, eggplant, carrots, basil, parsley, dill, etc. She also sells ice cream in banana, passion fruit and guyabano flavors, probiotics, detox juices, tabouleh, beans, lumpia, salads, gazpacho, pesto, dips, puto, caponata and chutney.

They also operate daily in #7 Calle Plata, BC Homes, Lahug. You can call her at (0032)316-3464 or at her mobile 09177148254. You may also want to reach through her email address libotriv@yahoo.com.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Weekend Organics Bazaar at Banilad Town Center

     Last Sunday right after my morning jog at the Family Park in Talamban, I went straight to Banilad Town Center (BTC) to buy some fruit juices at Robinson's Supermarket. It has been a while that this neighborhood store has a weekend organics bazaar at the lobby so right after buying some stuff at the grocery, I visited again my favorite booth upstairs. I bought most of my starter herb plants here that is why I am very much familiar of this every Sunday organic marketplace.

      Six to eight tables were lining and they are selling a hodgepodge of anything organics, from fresh produces to artisan breads to even rock salts, culinary herbs, medicinal plants, tonic juices to organic ice cream, salsa, pesto, etc. I was even amazed one booth was selling fresh "pako" (edible ferns), and this made me realized it has been a while since the last time I ate pako salad. The more I missed mamsi's lutong bahay. Amazing find like this has added a mark on my Cebu....its rarity is the abundance of other places.




      The action was a bit like of that in a weekend public market, however this was more of serving the high end market. Fresh fruits and vegetables comes in banana wrappers and baskets. Of course, expect  prices of these fresh produce are a bit pricey, it's organic in the first place.

     The notion and importance of organic products are little by little being embraced by Cebuanos. The concept and way of life is slowly taking its position among the well-off Cebuanos. One of the proof is this weekend organics bazaar which has been running for quite sometime.

        Cebu is slowly embracing organics. Thanks for a few farms here (mostly came from the hilly Busay and Balamban) who are adopting the organic way (a sustainable way) of farming. I need see those farms in the coming months!
 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Culinary Herbs...in my garden

I started planting only early this year after I came across a weekly organic bazaar in Banilad Town Center. I found what I have been looking for quite a long time so I didn’t thought twice to buy one. Sweet Italian Basil was my first herb. Though a bit pricey, it didn’t matter to me. The plant was already 2 feet high, lush and healthy and was planted in a clay pot. Right now, I let it flower so I can gather seeds for my next supply of basil.
I’m quite sure you will ask: where will I plant? Living in a metro where you pay for every square meters of open space is not a good idea to crowd it with plants. If you happen to live in nearby municipalities where vacant lots are still abundant and “backyard” is still literally a backyard, this hobby is something that will pay off. If you are an urban dweller like me, you are on the same challenge as mine. But whatever it is, hobbyists will always find a way or two just to engage on gardening. More of the tips on how to make most of your space will be discussed on the future posts.
I don’t have an extensive collection of herbs, as I earlier put it, because of space considerations and the availability of the plants. I just grow them one by one in a pot. The potting medium was bought in the hardware (organic compost). It just started with a sweet basil, but now, I also have tarragon, mints, peppermint, turmeric, holy basil, thai basil, Vietnamese coriander, parsley, lemongrass, oregano, chives, and chinese garlic chives.

Sweet Italian Basil, basic ingredient for pastas and salads. According to wikipedia, it was originally came from India, it is best known as culinary herb prominently featured in Italian cuisine. There are other varieties of basil which are known to most Asian countries including the Philippines.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Mananom na 'ta!

One thing that stresses me out is finding an herbs and vegetables (or any ingredient for that matter) whenever the recipe calls for it. It is good to know that supermarkets here in Cebu have fresh supply of those herbs, though the mix is not that extensive. There are times that all you need is just a few of those leaves to add flavor to your dish, and most of the time you left those greens napping on your fridge until the next cooking time, or worse, it will be thrown away when wilted. Not a good idea.
You can find those needed herbs and spices at the vegetable section of any mall here in Cebu. Most of the time there are sweet basil, mint, parsley, or coriander in the shelves packed in handy small containers. I don’t know where they came from; the most important is it’s available and ready for taking. But how about those other herbs like rosemary, tarragon and the like? Sad to say, for almost a number years of my stay here in Cebu, I found none in those supermarkets and I am satisfied just using the dried version—McCormick (hahaha ang kinakusgang McCormick). Though always available, it is still a huge different if you will use the fresh ones.
The solution? Grow those plants! But where can we found those hard-to-find plants here in Cebu?
Cebu is a metropolis where you restaurants are mushrooming in any streets possible. People here just love to eat. Sad to say, I still had difficulty finding an appropriate ingredient in the supermarkets, or at the public markets. My presumption is, all are coming from outside of Cebu Province since Cebu has only a few agricultural lands. However I was fascinated by an idea that there must be somebody who grows those plants here in Cebu. The next blog posts are listings of my few finds here in Cebu.
So why plant if you can buy it? For me, it’s both practicality and ensuring where they came from. I only cook a dish for two so I don’t need something more that will be later on dumped on the bin. Its availability all the time whenever I need it is enjoying it at the convenience of my home. And I want to make sure those are being grown my way, organic and fresh. Plus the joy of growing those is simply beyond measure.
So the next time you will cook pasta or a fresh salad, make it more close to real one by garnishing some fresh herbs.
Enjoy planting!

Welcome to our blog, Bisdak!



Never in my imagination would I be spending a number of years here in Cebu. In all its facets big or small, Cebu has not failed to lure me into its charm since day one – the warmth of its people, its one-of-a kind culture, and the provincial feel of its urban life made me feel I am just around home. I love Cebu and I’m staying here for good.

My attempt in ‘staying here for good’ gave me a few shots of headaches as to how I should tug along with me my antics for cooking and gardening. I love to grow something green since a kid, thanks for my Papsi, a dedicated farmer, who influenced me a lot. And my love for cooking must have started from my fondness of eating anything edible and delicious. I also admit it is innate in me: my Papsi, a Kapampangan, must have endowed me his cooking genes.  Nevertheless, a passionate person knows no hindrances, and the rest of the story is the reason why I’m having this blog – to chronicle how, what and where I have been just to pursue these two passions, in a lovely place called Cebu.

And to add a twist to my story, I began to practice a couple of months ago a self-proclaimed way of living: unrestricted vegetarianism (which I will define it later), in my struggle to go back to basics for health reasons. A newbie here in Cebu with this newfound lifestyle is definitely a struggle and the more reason I should cook. And to make all things easy along the way, it is the more reason I should grow my food.

Whew…

The purpose of this blog is plain and simple: share the information to my (with emphasis) fellow Cebuano’s (that is including me, hehehe). I have noticed there is a scarce resource of information about the topics, be it online or even by asking any Cebuano’s, hence the inconvenience in my attempt to be my own cook and a gardener. I’m not a professional culinary expert, nor a licensed agriculturist, so it is a good note to take precautions in using any information posted, shared and discussed here. To make things more engaging, I will make an effort to get advices from those in authority.

Join me in my excursions to Cebu that I have never been. Let’s check out all the known and not so-known supermarkets, as well as public markets, farms, grocery stores, in search of those hard-to-find ingredients and plants. Join me as I explore the tastes and flavors of Cebu, and the joys of exploring and experimenting in your kitchens and garden spaces.

Welcome to “our” blog, feel free to make use of and share any information here. Let’s make this our discussion venue for anything about cooking, gardening and what have you under the Cebuano sun!

So, pull in your pots and trowels and frying pans and ladles and let’s start having the best life here in Cebu!
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